The DPP "proceed on retirement" case— THE GHANA PALAVER DOSE IT AGAIN! "The Daily Graphic" of Friday, February 3, 2006, carried the story of the retirement of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Osafo Sampong. The story, carried in the centre spread of the paper complete with a glossy and respectable colour photograph of a bewigged and resplendent Osafo Sampong under the headline, "Osafo Sampong bows out", reported the retirement of the DPP after more than 35 years of service at the Attorney General's Department.
The story continued:
"Mr. Sampong was called to the Bar in October 1968 as an Assistant State Attorney and was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions in February 2000. During this period he served under the fol! lowing Attorneys-General: Messrs Victor Owusu, N.Y.B. Adade, E.N. Moore, Dr. Gustav Koranteng Adow, A.N.E. Amissah, G.E. K. Aikins, Dr. Obed Asamoah, Nana Akufo Addo, Papa Owusu Ankomah and J. Ayikoi Otoo.
He was for 10 years a part-time lecturer in Criminal Law at the Ghana School of law.
He handed over to Mr. Eric Agbolosu, a Chief State Attorney on January 31, 2006. Mr. Sampong is a member of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) and the International Association of Prosecutors.
"The Daily Graphic" story must clearly have been prompted by the musings of The Ghana Palaver's "Odikro" who, in our issue Vol. 12 No. 31 of Tuesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 26, 2006, "wanted to know" as follows:
"Whether it is true that following his principled professional stand of advising against the prosecution of former NDC Minister Kwamena Ahwoi and "The Ghana Palaver" Managing Editor Joojo Bruce Quansah in the matter of the latter's allegation of a night attack on him, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Osafo-Sampong, has been written to by the Attorney General to proceed on retirement, having suddenly remembered that the loyal and ever-faithful state prosecutor is past the compulsory retiring age of 60 years?"
Our conclusion is based not only on the rumours of the letter of retirement that Attorney General Ayikoi Otoo hastily wrote to the learned former DPP which many of the staff of the Attorney General's Department were not happy about, but also on the fact that at the time he was forced to retire, Mr. Osafo Sampong was leading the NPP Government's prosecuting team in the case of Republic v. Tsatsu Tsikata, a case which has travelled over 4 years, gone through about 5 courts, been heard by over three judges, and appears not yet ready to go away.
On the day of Mr. Osafo Sampong's retirement, it was Attorney General Ayikoi Otoo himself who led the team of prosecutors to the court in the Tsatsu Tsikata case. Normally in a high-profile case like this in which the NPP seems determined to win at all costs, the DPP would have been asked to see the case to its conclusion before being asked to "proceed on retirement"
Friends of the former DPP have hinted Ghana Palaver that the next step in this propagandist bid to assuage the hurt feelings of Mr. Osafo Sampong, a known dyed-in-the-wool NPP sympathiser, is a possible Ambassadorial appointment.